News
Sep 20, 2022

TCDSU Cuts Ties With GSU After Current President’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct

TCDSU will not engage or seek to renew its Memorandum of Agreement with the GSU following allegations of sexual misconduct against its president and consititutional breaches during its last election.

Seán CahillNews Editor

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has said it will end its relationship with with the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) following “allegations of sexual misconduct against the Graduate Students’ Union President” and constitutional breaches that took place during the last GSU election cycle.

TCDSU said that this will mean that it will not refer students to the GSU and will not seek to renew its Memorandum of Agreement with the GSU until these concerns are resolved.

It also said it will hold a town hall meeting in the coming weeks where it will address the needs of postgraduate students and reiterated that TCDSU represents both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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In a statement posted to Twitter, TCDSU said: “Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) takes the allegations of sexual misconduct against the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) President extremely seriously, as well as previous concerns regarding multiple constitutional breaches during the last GU election period.”

“Student safety – coupled with the preservation of their democratic voice – are two of our largest priorities.”

“In light of these ongoing investigations, we cannot, in good conscience,
refer students to the GSU at this present time.”

“TCDSU will not be engaging with the GSU nor seeking to renew our Memorandum of Agreement until such a point as these concerns are resolved.”

“In the meantime, we continue to work as hard as we can to meet the needs of all Trinity students. Any student, undergraduate or postgraduate, can avail of our services or send us inquiries.”

“We as a Union exist to care and fight for all students in Trinity. We intend to hold a Postgraduate (PG) town hall meeting in the coming weeks to further address the needs of PG students”, the statement said.

In a statement to The University Times, Junior Dean Philip Coleman said: “I note there are reports that a certain student has been disciplined for sexual misconduct. I am happy to confirm that this is not the case. I will not be commenting further.”

The GSU President, who uses the names Marcus Porfirio and Marc Imbillicieri, was elected with 63.83 per cent of the vote in July.

The GSU previously told The University Times that elections would be held in June despite the constitutional requirement that they be held during Hilary Term.

An email from the GSU Executive sent out to postgraduate students earlier this year outlining the decision behind running the election after Hilary Term said the timing of the election period took “on board both academic and student advice, GSU Board consultation and input from students on deadlines”.

The GSU constitution states: “The date for this election shall be decided by the Executive Committee, and shall be in Hillary [sic] term of each academic year save in extraordinary circumstances.”

Former GSU President Gisèle Scanlon did not respond to queries at the time about any extraordinary circumstances which would have prevented the election being held during that term.


This article was updated on Wednesday September 21st at 9:30am to include a statement from the Junior Dean.

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